Can men wear henna? Everything you need to know about Menna

Can Men Wear Henna?
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Have you seen the amazing henna patterns of Mehndi but worried that all the photos only show women wearing it. Have you wondered, can men wear henna?

Men can wear Henna and it is growing in popularity. Menna, as its known, is appearing as tribal or traditional patterns on male biceps and hands. More grooms in Indian weddings are receiving Mehndi henna to match their brides. However, Islam forbids men to wear henna as decoration.


So if you have ever wanted to try out this painless alternative to permanent tattoos read on. We cover everything you need to know to start using this traditional and ancient form of body art.

Can men wear henna?

Are you a man looking for a way to create the tattoo look without the commitment of a permanent tattoo? Needing a dramatic look for a special occasion but worried if Henna is a major social no-no and are left wondering, can men wear Henna? We cover all you need to know here.

Men can wear Henna and it is becoming more and more popular. Its a great way to get a temporary tattoo that will last around 2 to 3 weeks, allowing you to keep changing your style with no commitment.

It’s all over Instagram and even has the nickname “Menna” which yeah, is just Henna for men. But stupid name aside, Henna really does look amazing on men and is on the rise.









Henna on women is usually confined to intricate patterns on the hands and feet, but men are pushing boundaries with it and creating tribal tattoo style henna designs on their shoulders, biceps and chests.

You don’t need to stick to the traditional patterns passed down through the centuries. Tribal graphic tattoo styles work particularly well. Your imagination is the only limit when using Henna in this way.

Henna can be an amazing addition to your costume if you are attending a festival or gathering. Henna Artist, “Ritual By Design” offers a service to create male Henna Decorations for Burning Man Festival.

Henna accentuates the male body and ensures you will stand out from the crowd.

can men wear henna at prom

Love this photo of a man attending prom with henna hand decoration – [source – https://www.instagram.com/facefiesta/]

Male Celebrities who wear Henna

One of the most prominent male celebrity Henna wearers is Tan France from the makeover show, Queer Eye.

Tan is of Pakistani heritage and can often be seen wearing beautiful traditional or contemporary designs on his hands. These are often on his left hand which leads me to think he creates them himself.

Can The Groom Wear Henna at an Indian Wedding?

Henna or Mehndi as it is known is an integral part of Indian Wedding tradition. However, generally it has only been brides who decorate their hands and feet with Henna.

However, in recent years a trend has started of the groom using the intricate patterns of Mehndi as part of the wedding ceremony. Both people in the couple can now participate.

The application of Henna pattern usually takes place the day before the wedding ceremony, not on the wedding night itself.

Can men wear henna? Groom in Pushkar, India receiving Mehndi

Groom in Pushkar, India receiving Mehndi before his wedding. [source http://michelleayer.blogspot.com]

Can men wear henna? Groom wedding henna

The beautiful end result. [source http://michelleayer.blogspot.com]

Michelle Ayer on her blog described a traditional wedding event in Pushkar, Rhajastan in India where the groom received Mehndi the day before his wedding.

The Mehndi was applied by female family relatives at a Henna party as friends celebrated and enjoyed indian food and drink. The groom received designs on his hands and feet. Floral patterns and symbols are very popular in wedding Mehndi.

Wearing Mehndi as a man when getting married or at celebrations is certainly acceptable now.

Man with Henna palm design

This man sports a beautiful Henna Palm Design. {source https://www.instagram.com/gindiantraveller}

How long does it take to apply mehndi?

The amount of time it takes to apply Mehndi depends on the size of area covered and the complexity of the design. A hand to the elbow may take around 2 two 3 hours or so. You will also need to sit still for around 2 hours as the Mehndi dries to avoid smudging the design.

Can Muslim Men Wear Henna?

It is not permitted for Muslim men to wear Henna or Mehndi. They can only use Henna as a medication and not for decoration. However, using Henna on the hair is OK. It can be used as a hair dye to colour grey hair and this is acceptable. Many men colour their beards with henna too

Moroccan mens henna tattoos

Henna has always be very popular in Morocco and can be traced back to the early Berber nomadic communities. Henna was used at births, wedding celebrations and pretty much every time people got together to celebrate as family. It was an important part of every event. Henna was not confined just to women but was used by men too.

In Morocco, henna designs are seen as bringing good luck. For this reason the designs often include an eye design to deflect the evil eye. They often include more geometric shapes than indian designs. Linear designs are popular.

Moroccan Mens Henna Tattoo

This moroccan style henna hand tattoo gives a dramatic look.

How do you get a henna tattoo as a man?

There are basically two ways to get a henna tattoo or Mehndi as a man. You can go to a professional henna artist or you can buy henna and do it yourself. An internet search should enable you to find a henna artist near you.

If you would like to try henna yourself please read my post here [ what is a henna tattoo] to get more information about how to buy and use henna and create your own Mehndi art.

A Safety note about allergic reactions to Henna

Whilst natural red or brown henna is a safe natural product there is something you need to be aware of.

Black coloured Henna has chemical ingredients added to make it dark. This chemical is called PPD and can cause a severe allergic reaction. Always use red or brown henna only and avoid dark coloured black henna. Black henna designs can look beautiful but it isn’t worth the risk.

What is a Henna Tattoo?

Now that you know that you can wear Henna as a man, its helpful to know a little more about Henna Tattoos and how they work.

Henna Tattoos are made from the henna plant, Lawsonia inermis. The leaves of the tree are dried and ground up. Tea, lemon juice or water are then added to make a paste. Essential oils may also be added.

The paste is then placed onto the skin in intricate decorative patterns. This is usually done by putting the paste in a plastic cone and snipping off the end to create a fine nozzle. Delicate and fine lacy designs can then be created.

The paste is allowed to dry for a few hours and then flaked off the skin to reveal the design underneath. The stain on the skin will develop and darken with body heat over night.

A henna tattoo is painless, temporary and will last for around 2 weeks or so.

If you are interested in experimenting with this art form and are wondering what is a henna tattoo I recommend you check out the post I wrote.

This covers everything you need to know about Henna. It includes a wealth of information about how to buy the paste and create your own body decoration.

Men wearing Henna inspiration photos

So now that you know that in most cases it’s OK for men to wear henna, you might need some inspiration.

Many men replicate the look of tribal tattoos with Henna. It’s a great way of trying out a tattoo look without the commitment of a permanent tattoo.

Beautiful arm henna by Ritual By Design {source – https://www.instagram.com/ritualbydesign}

A floral design can create a stunning henna tattoo on a male arm.

Chest and shoulder henna design – by Ritual By Design {source – https://www.instagram.com/ritualbydesign}

Moroccan style chest and shoulder henna design – by Ritual By Design {source – https://www.instagram.com/ritualbydesign}

Moroccan designs, with their geometric shapes look wonderful as a henna tattoo.

Man with hand henna tattoo

Man with delicate floral hand henna tattoo {source – https://www.instagram.com/henna.prince123}

This Henna Artist, Henna.Prince123 creates beautiful henna for men.

Mans forearm henna tattoo

A beautiful forearm henna tattoo on a male arm [source – https://www.instagram.com/ashkumar_beauty}

Gorgeous male forearm mehndi design by Ashkumar Beauty

In conclusion. Can men wear henna?

I hope you now have realised that in most cases men can wear henna. It’s a stunning and powerful form of body decoration that is easily accessible and fun to experiment with.

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